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Friday's List of 13: College football teams that caught my eye
This is in no way a ranking, just some teams who caught my eye in the last week…….
13) Mississippi State—This is highest they’ve been ranked in 11 years; they’re expected to win at rebuilding Auburn this week, but winning on the Plains has never been easy for these Bulldogs.
12) Baylor—I don’t give a rat’s ass about the Heisman Trophy, but I’ll say this: Baylor QB Robert Griffin III is the most fun player in America to watch. Not even close.
11) Penn State—Last ten times they were an underdog, Lions are 1-9 against the spread. They get a chance to make some national news with Alabama visiting this week.
10) South Florida—Skip Holtz teams play better as the underdog, but last week’s win makes them the hunted instead of the hunter. How will they react against spunky underdog Ball State?
9) Colorado hosts Cal this week, but it isn’t their first Pac-10 game; this game was scheduled before the Buffs jumped leagues, so it’s a non-league game between new conference rivals. Go figure.
8) TCU lost 50-48 in Waco last week, now visits Air Force, where their last two visits both ended 20-17 (teams split). Tricky game for TCU.
7) Supposedly, Northern Illinois has one of the best OLs in America; they’re a TD favorite at Kansas, with a game vs mighty Wisconsin on tap next week. Cinderella-type BCS Busters don’t get caught looking ahead. We’ll see about these Huskies.
6) Washington State hammered some hapless I-AA team last week; now they’re a 14-point favorite over downtrodden UNLV. If Wazzu is going to show improvement in the Pac-12 and energize their fanbase a little, this is a game they need to win big.
5) Washington—Huskies struggled with former SMU QB Bo Levi Mitchell last week, beating I-AA Eastern Washington in close game; now they get Hawai’i’s Run-and-shoot the week after the Warriors beat Colorado. Hawai’i looked good last week; this is an interesting game.
4) Memphis—This is a horrible time in history to have an abysmal football team, as conferences scramble to find teams—Tigers would be an attractive hoop school, but when you’re a 14-point dog at Arkansas State, no football league is coming after you.
3) Georgia—Mark Richt needs to beat South Carolina this week, or the Mike Leach-to-Athens rumors are going to start up.
2) Utah—First-ever Pac-10 game is at USC, where OC Norm Chow used to work. Trojans struggled to beat Minnesota last week—this could be interesting.
1) Michigan—First-ever home night game for the Wolverines. Should be quite an atmosphere, with Notre Dame in the house. Both sides hoping for no lightning storms. Brian Kelly is hoping he doesn’t have to curse his receivers out after every series.